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Rounds Wants More Oil, Less Ethanol; Corn Lobby Thinks Fighting EPA More Important

Remember how Mike Rounds told us that Keystone XL would help South Dakota farmers by freeing up rail cars to haul grain instead of oil? Farm and blog friend Don Carr notices that, once Rounds was safely elected, the South Dakota Corn Growers changed their tune and admitted that the tar sands pipeline would not free up that much rail for farm products (a "blip on the radar," said SDCGA president Keith Alverson).

Carr contends that Rounds is putting Big Oil over Big Corn:

Rounds offered tepid support at best for one of South Dakota’s biggest ag products saying corn ethanol’s role was only as an oxygenate – not a ringing endorsement. And Rounds proudly took money from interests looking to upend the corn ethanol mandate. Meanwhile his challenger called for a dramatic increase in the blend of corn ethanol to 30% in U.S. gas tanks and was the only one to offer an agriculture policy plan [Don Carr, "Keystone Forces Corn Farmer Quandary," Republic of Awesome, 2015.01.06].

Apparently the Big Ag interests who backed Rounds are less interested in promoting their energy production than in blocking regulation of their pollutants:

American water quality is declining due to agriculture pollutants. Regulation is an increasingly viable option. For those reasons defeating the EPA rule has become agriculture’s main quest. So much so that they’re willing to jump in bed with declared enemies and let campaign lies slide [Carr, 2015.01.06].

By backing Rounds, the corn lobby is saying it wants to increase the chances of oil pollution on the prairie while fighting efforts to curb their own polluting activities. They have thus thrown in with a 100% pro-pollution Congressional delegation.


  1. mike from iowa 2015.01.08

    Where's the Beef Barbie Rounds lied? I don't believe it!

  2. Nick Nemec 2015.01.08

    Mike Rounds has been in the hip pocket of Big Oil ever since his first day in the legislature over 20 years ago, he rarely missed a chance to vote against the ethanol industry. Of course Grandpa Don was a long time oil industry lobbyist and being the good son Mike couldn't disappoint.

  3. jerry 2015.01.08

    Farmers are so afraid of loosing the teat they are sucking from that they vote against their own best interests time and time again. There used to be a time when farmers and ranchers were visionary, now they wear bifocals and mumble about the being the solution to a problem when they are the problem. They fail to realize the ground they are polluting is where the water comes from that they are drinking and using for other purposes that require clean water. Greed makes you believe in a crook like Rounds.

  4. Travis 2015.01.08

    I wonder how many of these farmers that are in bed with big oil to keep the EPA from regulating their polluting practices are actually the corporate farm owners and not the smaller traditional family farms. I even wonder if there even that many small farms out there anymore. Does anyone have any data on this?

  5. Paul Seamans 2015.01.08

    During the campaign Mike Rounds claimed that building the Bakken onramp would free up four unit trains. An oil rail car can hold 34,500 gallons maximum. Dividing this into 100,000 barrels gives 122 cars needed to move 100,000 barrels. More like just a little over one unit train. As SDCGA president Keith Alverson says, "a blip on the radar". Keith, why did you wait until after the election to put out this press release?

  6. mike from iowa 2015.01.08

    As of 2012 there were 31000 farms in SD. 98% owned by families. That was down 3oo farms from the previous year.

  7. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Good post Cory. Sad that these things are decided based on politics/(new age religion) instead of economics.

  8. barry freed 2015.01.08

    Watching cspan, one proponent claimed that the KXL would free up "dozens of trains per month".
    Is that a lot?

  9. Robert J. Cordts 2015.01.08

    Shocker. Mike Rounds doesn't always tell the truth.

  10. 96Tears 2015.01.08

    Here's the only truth you need to know about Marion M. Rounds: He's a total stooge for Big Oil and he'd sell his mother to make the fat cats another nickel.

  11. Jaka 2015.01.08

    No, 96, beg to differ with you. MMM will always make himself a buck and a half by selling out to someone else. Anyone who would build a mansion in the flood plain and when it floods expect everyone else to bail him out---well???

  12. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.08

    Larry, MN governor Mark Dayton wants to raise the licensing fee too. He wants to pay for the infrastructure repairs and upgrades this state needs.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.09

    Dayton on roads: I see he actually wants to establish an ongoing payment mechanism instead of splurging with one-time money, while the GOP wants to use the surplus to do some quick road repairs without paying for them with tax increases.

  14. jerry 2015.01.09

    Daugaard and the rest, fight the EPA to keep them from enforcing this
    Ask the neighbors around confinement barns how the air is for them. Drive by the lot east of Chamberlain that is right by the road and a short distance away from the Missouri River with you window down, good luck with that.

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